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Odds Blog: Saying goodbye to Catherine

Posted by indigodream on 14 October, 2011

Friday 14th October

I went to Catherine’s (aka Windfola) funeral today and although it was a 5 hour round trip (courtesy of the M25) I’m very glad that I went – I took a card and some flowers on behalf of the Indigodreamers, Greygal and Canalworld Forum members. I had the chance to talk to her dad and he wasn’t aware of what an impact Catherine had made in the boating community – he said he was overwhelmed. Catherine’s best friend said that Catherine herself had no idea how many lives she had touched and how much she was appreciated.

The funeral itself was a superior crematorium funeral – much better than your usual “insert name here” – it was heartfelt and relevant. One point well-made was that we should now let go of our “if only’s….” – I think we’ve all wished, as did everyone in the room today, that we could have averted her suicide, but her dad said he was “shocked but not surprised” – it seems that Catherine had been battling depression for many many years.

At first I felt a little out of place as I obviously didn’t know anyone there and they all seemed to know Catherine from other aspects of her life and seemed relatively unaware of how committed she was to a boating life. However I was chuffed when they finished with a recording of a folk band singing a song about canals and narrowboating featuring immortal lines such as “sink my ashes down the tixall wide” and “the pearly gate paddles in the sky” – classic! It’s rather presumptuous but I felt as if I was representing the narrowboating community – I think the other people in the room knew Catherine as she was whereas we boaters knew the Catherine that would have been……on that score it may have been the saddest funeral I’ve ever been to……

5 Responses to “Odds Blog: Saying goodbye to Catherine”

  1. Jill and Graham said

    Well done you for going – it couldn’t have been easy xx

  2. indigodream said

    I did give some thought to running for home when I got stuck on the motorway and the satnav predicted that I wouldn’t get there on time, but I am glad that I stuck with it (and got there a whisker after the start – phew!)

  3. Graham said

    I never knew Catherine, other than through this blog and the comments which I’ve picked up in the last few days, but the reaction to her tragic death speaks volumes for both her and for the boating community. It is so heartening that there is still such warm humanity and compassion in the world. In many ways it makes her loss more unfathomable but her memory will live on in more hearts than she could possibly have imagined.

  4. Greygal said

    I hope Catherine’s at the tiller of her wide beam in the sky and will find the peace there that she was so cruelly denied in life. My thanks to you, Sue, for representing me and all boaters on Friday. May Catherine feel the love.

  5. Alan said

    Although I only knew Catherine through a canal forum, (and indeed probably didn’t even know her real name at the time), I took to her greatly.

    I battled with a very extreme depression myself not that many years ago, and Catherine clearly had a very deep understanding of the subject, and showed great insights.

    At the time I would not necessarily have had her as a sufferer herself, but her father’s remarks to you do make the context clearer.

    A great loss, I feel.

    Well done for getting involved in what must have been a very difficult event to attend, at least initially.

    RIP Windfola.

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